Has Jason Whitlock changed his tune about ESPN? Set to return to network

First Keith Olbermann. Now Jason Whitlock.

Jason McIntyre broke the bombshell that Whitlock is leaving Fox Sports to rejoin ESPN.

Now Whitlock didn’t exactly do the “napalm” thing like Olbermann, but he carried some bitter feeling towards the network after his break-up in 2006.

Whitlock repeatedly has slammed ESPN and its personalities. During a podcast with the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir last fall, he implored Sandomir and the Times to do a takedown, er, in-depth analysis of ESPN.

“Deadspin has done a good job,” Whitlock said. “Some adults could get at the bigger issues at play here.”

During the same podcast, he accused First Take of gearing its show to unemployed African-Americans.

“It’s not by accident that they’ve added the rap music, added the black women eye candy,” Whitlock said. “Skip Bayless picks on certain black targets. Then they brought in Stephen A. Smith to smooth it out.”

Later, Whitlock said, “Their ratings among black viewers is off the charts and it drives their decision-making. I’ve heard that from people I know.”

And one more sound bite. “There are a group of people who have time to watch this. They don’t have jobs. They like to talk sports and like the barbershop style of sports talk.”

It was pretty remarkable stuff. Whitlock declined an interview request from me to talk about those comments. He said my questions weren’t “sophisticated enough” for him.

Hmm, wonder if Whitlock still wants Sandomir and the Times to explore all those issues at ESPN? Methinks, no.





One thought on “Has Jason Whitlock changed his tune about ESPN? Set to return to network

  1. Here’s all you need to know why he’s returning: $$$$$$$$$$.

    Like your colleague at the Tribune, Steve Rosenbloom always says Ed; follow…the…money.

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